Charged with a Criminal Offense in Florida? Possible Defense Strategies

Being charged or investigated for a crime brings overwhelming worry and fear about the uncertainty of your future. There are legal sanctions to consider and collateral consequences, all of which may change your life forever. Depending on the crime, the sentence for a misdemeanor or felony may include imprisonment, probation, restitution to the victim, loss of civil rights, hefty fines, and a loss of your driver’s or professional licenses. 

Collateral consequences may cause a struggle in finding work and ineligibility for college admission, school loans, grants, and work-study programs. The social stigma attached to a conviction makes integrating into society, including family and personal relationships, difficult.

Top-Tier Criminal Defense Attorneys in Ormond Beach, Florida

The devastating effects of an arrest or a conviction underscore the need for strong legal defense from an experienced law firm that can help you navigate legal issues and build a strong defense. At Woodard & Ferguson, Attorneys at Law, we are fierce advocates for our clients. We have more than six decades of combined experience practicing criminal law. Attorney Katherine Woodard and Attorney David Ferguson have successfully represented thousands of clients throughout Volusia, Flagler, Seminole, and Orange Counties, and we stand ready to help you.

A Sampling of Defense Strategies are:                            

  • Constitutional Rights Violations: The United States Constitution guarantees certain rights when suspected or charged with a crime. For example, the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. The Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination and the right to remain silent. When these and other rights are violated by law enforcement, a prosecutor’s case is significantly weakened, resulting in a reduction or dropped charges or the basis of a successful criminal appeal.
  • Mistaken Identity: In many instances, witnesses intentionally or unintentionally mistake the alleged perpetrator’s identity. Contributing factors may be poor lighting, vision, human error, or bias related to the heightened emotions during a crime. According to the Innocence Project, errors in eyewitness identification have contributed to the overwhelming majority of wrongful convictions that are overturned by DNA testing post-conviction.
  • Self-Defense or Defense of Others: In violent crimes, self-defense or defense of others is a strategy used when the act is reasonable based on the proportion of the threat. In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law for justifiable use of force. Florida Statute 776.013 gives an individual the right to use force, including deadly force, against another to prevent great bodily harm or death to themselves or another.
  • Entrapment: When law enforcement persuades or coerces an individual to break the law, this is called entrapment and can be used as a viable defense strategy. Examples of crimes that may be subject to entrapment are sex crimes, drug crimes, and white-collar crimes. In an entrapment defense, there must be proof that the defendant would not have committed the offense except for the tactics used by law enforcement.
  • Alibi Defense: This is powerful when you have proof that you were somewhere else when the crime occurred. Evidence such as video footage, credit card receipts, photographs, GPS records, and credible eyewitness testimony supports this defense. 

Woodard & Ferguson, Attorneys at Law, will Fight for Your Freedom

Your future is at stake when you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony criminal offense. Regardless of the severity of the crime, our lawyers can offer you real help with real results. As a family-operated law firm, we defend each case as our own. We take pride in offering personalized attention, and prioritize listening and addressing each of our client’s concerns. We believe that attorney-client communication is key to effectively defending a case. 

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, call Woodard & Ferguson, Attorneys at Law, at (386) 677-0822 immediately to begin working on your defense. Our law firm is located in Ormond Beach, Florida, and we represent clients throughout Volusia County, Florida, and beyond. 

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